Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tony Perkins Never Tires of the Bullshit

Tony Perkins has ties to the Klu Klux Klan. His organization, Family Research Council, is an SPLC designated hate group. Nothing stops Tony . . .
The dust is finally starting to clear over the rubble of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, and our military is beginning to see what's on the horizon: a campaign to radicalize the country from the Pentagon out. It started by toppling the barrier to open homosexuality. And it continues with an assault on marriage and religious freedom.
No, Tony. No. The most resistant of the service chiefs, Marine Corps Commandant General James F. Amos, said just two days ago that the repeal of DADT was going better than he expected. He further stated that good will " . . . is happening throughout the Marine Corps."

So do tell, Tony. Is General Amos a liar? Is he possibly part of some grand conspiracy to undermine Christianity? General Amos is a man, Tony. He admits when he is wrong. You, on the other hand, are a coward and a bigot.

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NOM is misunderstood

National Organization for Marriage
I always thought that "National Organization for Marriage" would be correctly titled National Organization Opposed to Marriage Equality. That was a few years ago. These days, NOM is little different from Porno Pete LaBarbera.

NOM is in the anti-gay business. Period.

Indeed, NOM is hardly distinguishable from the bigoted mullahs at American "Family" Association or "Family" Research Council. Well, NOM are Catholic bigots while FRC and AFA are Evangelical bigots.

Today, for example, NOM is writing about the Christian victim du jour:
A grad student at Augusta State University who sued the school over a clash between her grad program requirements and her religious beliefs on gay people is now asking a federal appeals court to block the university from expelling her.
Apparently, they simply cannot help themselves. They hate being called "bigots" but that is precisely what they are.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stuff you couldn't possibly make up

According to the Washington Post, a man who held a Kansas couple hostage in their home while fleeing from authorities is suing them, claiming that they broke an oral contract made when he promised them money in exchange for hiding him from police. He wants $235,000, in part to pay for the hospital bills that resulted from him being shot by police when they arrested him.
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Have you read the spin about the challenge to marriage equality in NY?

You would think that the judge ruled on the merits of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms v New York State. Of course, that is not the case. Rather, the judge was ruling whether the State of New York would prevail in their motion to have the case dismissed. In doing so the Court must assume that all of the facts offered by NYCF were true. On that basis, the suit continues.

In spite of the secular sounding name, according to NYCF:
We are evangelical and/or fundamental ministers from all across New York State.
There are numerous caveats to NY's Open Meetings Law including executive sessions. There are numerous permissives for executive session including "discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation." The only limitation is that "no action by formal vote shall be taken to appropriate public moneys."

Of course National Organization for Marriage and Liberty Counsel portray this as if Moses parted the Hudson River.

These Images are From an Arizona Gun Club

After all, what's Christmas without Santa, machine guns and toddlers? Ugh!

Complete story at ThinkProgress.

OneNewsNow is Profoundly Confused

It seems well established that, in spite of considerable posturing, OneNewsNow is not a news organization. Nevertheless, even they should realize that a story titled NASA's confusion on intelligent design noted is going to subject them to some well earned ridicule. It seems reasonably safe to assure them, and American "Family" Association, that NASA has little confusion about creationism, intelligent design and the scientific fact of evolution.

Briefly (and you won't read much about this except in Christian sources), in 2010 an employee of CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ("JPL"), David Coppedge, sued his employer after a demotion. In 2011, the suit was amended to include wrongful termination. Coppedge alleges that he was terminated because, as he freely admits, he was distributing DVD's promoting, among other things, creationism. Apparently, Coppedge's attorney is a personal injury practitioner.  NCSE maintains an archive of the pleadings.

According to One News Now:

JPL filed a motion for summary judgment, and the court held oral arguments, but reversed a tentative ruling. In a final decision, the court denied the summary judgment motion, and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sent the case to a jury.
Actually, both sides moved for summary judgment. Then Coppendge's lawyer made one of the most astonishing statements I have ever seen coming from a member of the bar (excluding the crackpottery of Orly Taitz).
The judge's ruling on the summary judgment indicates that there are some very strong arguments to be made in this case that JPL is acting on biased reports from coworkers, who were claiming that my client harassed them . . . . A jury would have to determine whether or not my client was discriminated against on the basis of religion.
 Summary judgment is only applicable when a controversy is limited to issues of law     exclusive of issues of fact. The judge's ruling only means that there are issues of fact to be resolved. It certainly doesn't mean that there are strong arguments to be made one way or the other.

What these people never seem to get, as professional victims, is that we have the right to freedom from religion in the workplace. What would OneNewsNow do if they hired someone who turned out to be a Scientologist and that person was distributing L. Rob Hubbard DVD's?
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Archbishop Dolan is Full of Crap!

Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan has lost whatever credibility he might have remaining. Surely there was a day when priests and rabbis didn't have talking points. Dolan seems to be getting his from Robert George, Ms. Srivastav     or some other imbecile at National Organization for Marriage (they have plenty).

The reason that marriage equality exists in New York is because the legislature realized that equal and nondiscriminatory protection under the law and the separation of church and state are important values.

Frankly, if Mr. Dolan wants to be a politician then his organization should pay taxes!

If you listen to the (softball) interview, below, you would think that the tax exempt Church, with its massive influence and trillions of dollars in income, is a victim. Play me a violin. Dolan says that he wants our civil rights to be subject to the whims of the electorate in a referendum. While localities have ballot initiatives, essentially, there are no referenda in New York State. New York State persists in upholding the novel idea of a representative form of government.

Then he seems to blame politicians who presumably assured him that marriage equality would not pass. It failed in a Democratic controlled state Senate. Why would it pass in a Republican controlled body? Dolan and politicians underestimated the influence of Bloomberg and Cuomo     particularly when they were to be on the right side of history.
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Dr. Thorckmorton Weighs in on Sandusky and Gay Haters

Dr. Warren Throckmorton knows a thing or two about sexuality. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA).

Dr. Throckmorton settles the Jerry Sandusky matter simply and elegantly:

Predictably, some far right pundits want to make this about homosexual predation. To my knowledge, no adult male has come forward with stories of gay relationships. If anything, Sandusky was living the straight lifestyle. Haters gonna hate and so culture warriors will use whatever they can get to make points. These armchair advocates are not worth the effort.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

FRC's Peter Sprigg has a new brochure

"Family" Research Council's Peter Sprigg has a pretentious academic title of Senior Fellow for Policy Studies. Sprigg is a Baptist minister with an undergraduate degree in political science and economics. He also has a master of divinity degree.

What Sprigg is not is a scholar. Nor is he a scientist. Sprigg has never published anything in a recognized and peer reviewed scientific journal. Yet, Sprigg has written a new brochure titled Debating Homosexuality     Understanding Two Views. The reason that Sprigg's spew is not published is that he is not qualified to opine on these issues and his writings do not conform to the standards expected of serious research. The only thing that Sprigg is qualified to weigh in on is Christian theology. That's it.

It is easy to find sardonic merriment in Peter Sprigg's fanatical, biblical bigotry. Frankly, I am not amused.

Gender symbols, sexual orientation: heterosexu...
We need to remember that roughly 25% of gays and lesbians are people under the age of 18. Some of them have parents who actually buy into the nonsense propagated by people like Sprigg. No gay teen finds Marcus Bachmann and says "Fix me." It is the parents of gay teens who march their children into quacks like Marcus and ask him to fix their children. The result is potentially irrevocable damage to already fragile psyches.

Of course, from our perspective, one does not debate homosexuality any more than one would debate blues eyes, blond hair or left handedness. One debates opinion     not scientific fact.  This is just one of the reasons that SPLC has designated FRC as a hate group.

Sprigg starts out with the correct observation that most of us believe:
  • Sexual orientation is an innate personal characteristic, like race.
  • People are born gay.
  • Gay people can never become heterosexual.
  • Being gay is essentially no different from being straight, except for the gender to which one is sexually attracted.
Sprigg fails to mention that the above is also the consensus of medical and social science.

Sprigg asks;

What is Sexual Orientation?
He then goes on to write:

As all serious researchers in human sexuality understand, “sexual orientation” is an umbrella term for three quite different things. The first of these is one’s sexual attractions—is a person sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both? The second element of sexual orientation is sexual conduct—what sex acts does an individual choose to engage in, and with whom? The third element of sexual orientation is sexual self-identification . . .
That is so astonishingly incorrect as to be dishonest. No. That is not the consensus of "serious researchers." At least none whose research has been published and peer reviewed. What Sprigg is trying to do is to establish an introduction to the specious theory that gay people are those who choose to have sex with those of the same sex.  It is a lie!

Sexual orientation is simply and solely defined as the attraction to men, women, neither or both. Sprigg later explains:

Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm — one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the “gay identity” paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as “gay” are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately.
That is, indeed, the view of those struggling with the fact that science is not consistent with their interpretation of their bible. To suggest that this understanding is "more sophisticated" or "more consistent with the research on human sexuality" is dishonest. It is a lie!

Confronted with the prospect that, if sexual orientation is not innate then is must be mutable, Sprigg writes this about sexual reorientation "therapy."

Much of this research and clinical experience has been reported in the peer-reviewed scholarly literature for decades.
Well, not exactly. To support this erroneous assertion, Sprigg's footnote references "research" by NARTH that was published in the Journal of Human Sexuality. First of all, NARTH did no research. They selectively compiled material, some more than 100 years old. Secondly, the Journal of Human Sexuality is a vanity journal. It is certainly not a respected scholarly compilation.

The overwhelming current consensus of science is that sexual orientation is neither immutable nor a choice. That is the conclusion of the APA and every other medical organization that has researched the issue. There is a mountain of scientific evidence is support of that conclusion.

Sprigg has used selective observation of selective observation to make an intellectually dishonest conclusion. It is a lie! I note that NOM's expensive name brand attorneys were unable to produce one qualified witness in the Proposition 8 trial who would testify that sexual orientation is mutable. They were going to use George Rekers. I think we all know how that worked out.

Sprigg goes on to dishonestly conflate sexual orientation with AIDS (I'll spare my readers the lengthy polemic). He then goes on to assert that there are "mental health problems" caused by being gay.

Simply stated; Being gay is not harmful to one's health. It is repression and oppression that is toxic. Spriggs arguments are not only dishonest but absurd.

Then comes, perhaps, the most offensive portion of this polemic:

We believe the evidence shows, however, that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men. It is neither reasonable nor responsible to simply dismiss this assertion — it is necessary to examine the evidence for  and against it.
Nice job Peter. While he concedes that not all homosexuals are child molesters (gee - thanks), we all get the dog whistle. Sprigg's observation is based on the incorrect notion that same-sex pedophilia is homosexual. Simply stated, people like Sandusky are not gay. They are pedophiles.  Attempting to portray pedophiles as either heterosexual or homosexual is dishonest. It is a lie!

Sprigg concludes:

If anything should be clear from the information shared above, it is that there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of homosexuality. Let all people of goodwill  — regardless of their politics, religion, or sexual orientation — agree that the debate should continue, with a respect for honest research and for the freedom of thought, speech, and religion.
With all of Sprigg's lies it takes balls on skateboards to call for an honest debate. But, as I said, sexual orientation is not something that is subject to debate simply because their bible depicts gay sex as a sin. Their book is also at odds with science on matters such as gravity, the age of the earth, the origins of man, that the earth revolves around the sun and a host of other matters. If Sprigg wants to believe that gay sex is a sin then he is free not to engage in sex with another man. That's fine with me. Attempting to impose those beliefs on society is another matter. Sprigg has no right, whatsoever, to do so.

My grandmother kept a kosher home. For some strange reason, I cannot recall that she ever organized protests and demonstrations against the pork store in her neighborhood.  I also cannot recall that she ever hired lobbyists to make the sale and consumption of lobster illegal.
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The Gentleman from Massachusetts

According to Representative Barney Frank's office, he will not seek reelection in 2012. Not only is Frank a gay icon but, before he came out, he was on a path to be the first Jewish Speaker of the House.

Widely considered to be one of the smartest members of Congress, Frank's cutting wit make him both a voluntary lightning rod and someone to be feared. Frank has had little tolerance for willfully ignorant and intellectually dishonest demagogues.

Frank is also a courageous man. He came out almost a quarter century ago.

That this day would come is inevitable. In all likelihood, he will be replaced with another liberal member. Something tells me that we are going to be seeing a great deal of Mr. Frank. I doubt that he is going to go  into retirement quietly. That's simply not Barney Frank's style.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Romney Claims to Favor Gay Rights

According to the New Hampshire Telegraph, Romney claims that he hasn’t changed in the years since he lost the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

I would argue that supporting gay rights must include marriage equality. Nevertheless, this is a huge step forward for a Republican candidate. Mitt has probably figured out that the fundies don't like him any more than they like us.
I don’t believe in discriminating in employment or opportunity for gay individuals. So I favor gay rights. I do not favor gay marriage.
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The Porno Pete Beat

I just found this little gem in my (insomnia inspired) web wanderings. Peter LaBarbera got a bit revved up a couple of weeks ago and left a comment on Truth Wins Out that will be archived and recycled for years. Of course, Mr. LaBarbera doesn't allow people to comment on his web site. He also doesn't realize how unintentionally amusing he can be from time to time.

They never seem to get it. If they don't want to be ridiculed; if they don't want to be labeled "bigots" they should simply stop acting like bigots. There must be more meaningful endeavors than obsessing over other people's sex lives. Really.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Robert George Up To?

A new project for Maggie.

Robby has a new fetish.

The American Principles Project is Robert George central these days. It was APP that orchestrated the recall of three Iowa judges who adhered to the Iowa constitution to effect marriage equality.

Indeed, APP spawned George's Innocence Project. It seemed to exist solely to perpetuate the myth that gays pose a threat to children. This was the theme of George's National Organization for Marriage campaign for Proposition 8 in California and Question One in Maine the following year. Meanwhile, the Innocence Project was raining down extreme homophobia against Kevin Jennings' appointment to the Department of Education. George made a video and there were polemics; all claiming that Jennings was a threat to the innocence of children. I think that we all know what that dog whistle really means.

Friday, November 25, 2011

De-constructing FRC's Marriage Mythology

Peter Sprigg, at "Family" Research Council, has authored a brochure ominously titled The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex 'Marriage'. Apparently, Mr. Sprigg is wed to the notion that he has assembled a set of talking points. As you will see, Mr. Sprigg's struggle to reach ten arguments has produced some that are so astonishingly nonsensical that they are ludicrous.

First, a note about Mr. Sprigg. In another brochure, he claims that there is no evidence, whatsoever, to support the claim that sexual orientation is biological and that "there is an abundance of evidence that sexual orientation can change." Sprigg's intellectual dishonesty is readily apparent. There is a mountain of published and peer reviewed evidence that sexual orientation is both innate and immutable. But I digress

Sprigg's First Dishonest Claim:
Taxpayers, consumers and businesses would be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MLB Passes Sexual-Orientation Discrimination Ban

Watching right-wing news, I learn things that I would have overlooked. This item was in Citizenlink, a Focus on the "Family" hate group. Apparently, sexual orientation is now included in Major League Baseball's non-discrimination policy.

Update: This is confirmed in the bargaining agreement summary (PDF).

By me, this is a welcome advance. For the fundies? Not so much. FRC's lead bigot, Peter Sprigg, is quoted saying:
This is not a neutral act. It’s taking sides in the culture war.

The Right Wing News Aggregator is now live. This is primarily from fundamentalist Christian sources     the usual suspects for oppression. Consider this an alpha release. I like the format except for the fact that the source is obscured (hovering over the title will identify where the item came from). I am using inclusive filtering and probably need to add some more terms to include more items. Over time, I will add considerably more sources.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Surpising Data from FRC

We have some interesting data from marri, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute of "Family" Research Council. This was released late last week.

  • Only 45.8 percent of American children reach the age of 17 with both their biological parents married (since before or around the time of their birth).
  • The Index of Family Belonging is highest in the Northeast (49.6 percent) and lowest in the South (41.8 percent).
 Aside from the fact that "traditional marriage" has a pretty bleak outcome, they cannot blame the gays (I'm sure that they will try). The heathens in the Northeast - where marriage equality is prevalent - are doing better than the presumably more devout folks in the South AKA "The Bible Belt."

More information is available here. It's important to note that this research is not published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
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The More You Watch - The Dumber You Get

ThinkProgress is reporting a new study that confirms what we already knew. People who watch no news at all are better informed than Fox News watchers. Shocking, I know.

Monday, November 21, 2011

From those fun folks at AFA

It  seems that Walgreens has pissed off the mullahs at American "Family" Association causing them to organize a boycott of the retailer. So what egregious sin did Walgreens commit?

It seems that, in their November 20 circular, Walgreens mentioned "holiday" 36 times (some nitwit at AFA counted) but didn't mention Christmas. Oh my.

Perhaps AFA should spend more time worrying about real families facing real hardships this holiday season. Of course that probably won't make AFA's coffers swell. Whereas feigned outrage over manufactured malevolence makes for a guaranteed ka-CHING.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A work in Progress

I'll be commenting on the LGBTQ issues of the day shortly. The anticipated roll-out date is 25 November. This includes the two news aggregators. I am testing the java script on a local machine.